This Christmas vacation, friends and I have decided to volunteer at the local RMCC House. I wanted to do something different with my vacation time this year. When I was much younger, my mother brought my brother and I here for months at a time. Both of us were ill with a rare blood disorder and the volunteers here made our visits a delightful experience. We spent many a holiday here, away from our home. One of the things that I remember fondly about these holiday visits was how much effort volunteer groups put in to decorate fireplace mantel in each of the large community rooms. For little children watching, this was quite the holiday occasion.
The giant Christmas trees would come out of the storage closets, bulbs and decorations appeared from their hiding places, Christmas villages were being created before our eyes and throughout all of this activity, food of all kinds was being delivered to the kitchen area. For a few normal days, sick children and their family members had a chance to be dazzled by all of Santa’s helpers. Holly, small light bulbs, miniature statuettes, artificial snow and musical pieces of furniture, all found their rightful places to decorate fireplace mantel.
The fireplaces in this old, renovated farmhouse could no longer be used due to State Fire Marshall Regulations. In lieu of this, more efforts went to decorate the fireplaces with the use of pipe cleaners, velcro strips, string, beads etc… all kinds of whimsical, fanciful creatures come to life. Some folks brought hand painted fireplace screens. There were scenes of snowmen and reindeer having hot dog roasts and toasting marshmallows. So much fun!
Now, my college roommates and I are going to be the volunteers this time around. It will be a new experience for me being the care provider as opposed to the care receiver. Perhaps I will be able to bring a unique gift to children and their families because of all that I received in my time of need.